Monday, September 24, 2012

More Blue Hawaii

I first visited Blue Hawaii in early August, when I had a cold with a sore throat, and wanted to try out GoPago for the first time.  As "luck" would have it, they just sent me another $10 worth of credits as a thank you, right when I somehow got another cold.  (Seriously, I haven't had a cold in several years, and now I'm getting them regularly?  Not fair!)

Anyway, I went again several times to get something relieving for my sore throat.  This time, I properly used GoPago, placing my orders on my phone while I was waiting to cross the street a few blocks away.  Both times, when I walked in the door, the staff member looked up, greeted me by name, and told me she was just finishing up my order.  What a wonderful experience!  It was interesting to me in that felt even more personal that ordering in person, which isn't what you'd expect since I was cutting out a human interaction step by ordering on my phone.

I have been really impressed with the staff at Blue Hawaii.  On every visit, they have all been friendly and personable.  They make you feel very welcome.  They also have a commitment to quality, always slicing the fresh fruit to order.  Nothing is pre-made here.

I don't love the smoothies or the açaí bowls, but they are not things I normally order, and all of my visits have been when I'm sick and a little grumpy.   I think I need to return sometime when I'm NOT sick to give them a fair evaluation!
Small Simply Blue: Proprietary blend made with organic açaí, fresh banana and berries, topped with granola & bananas.  $4.95.
On my previous visit, I got the signature Blue Hawaii, which was this bowl, but with berries and honey on top as well.  I felt it was too sweet then, so I wanted to leave off the honey this time.  And I'd had some really amazing berries for breakfast, so I was hesitant to get berries on it, since it didn't seem like they'd measure up to the ones I'd had earlier.  So I went for the simplest bowl, the aptly named Simply Blue.

The açaí mixture was the same as before: icy, well blended, but it again it seemed too sweet.  I love sweets, so it really weirds me out that I felt that way, and last time I blamed it on being sick, but I'm starting to think that perhaps it is just a sweetness that I don't care for.  It made me really want some water to go with it, something to help cut the sweet.

On my previous visit, I didn't like the granola because my throat was so sore that it hurt to swallow the chunks of granola.  This time, my throat wasn't quite as sore, but I still didn't like it.  It seemed more rice crispies than granola, and it quickly got soggy when mixed with the açaí base.  I did like having something else in the bowl as a textural contrast however.

The banana was just banana, but it was done as good as it gets: freshly sliced to order, perfectly ripe.  There was a generous amount of it, since it was my only topping.

Overall, I didn't enjoy this very much, as it was too sweet, and I just wasn't into the granola or the banana really.  It did feel good sliding down my throat.  I think I might have just been in a grumpy mood from not feeling well though, as I kinda hated everything all day long.
Outrigger Cooler.: organic soy milk, apple juice, mango, papaya, pineapple and strawberries.  $5.45.
On my final visit, I went for a smoothie.  They have a few smoothies available, all with soy milk and apple juice as the base.  I went for the tropical sounding Outrigger Cooler, which had frozen mango, papaya, pineapple, and strawberries freshly blended in.

Since I was splitting it with someone, I tried out a feature of GoPago I hadn't yet explored: "add special instructions".  I entered a note asking for it to be split into two cups.  They saw my note and nicely split it for me.  Thanks, GoPago!

The smoothie was really well blended, a great consistency.  The flavors were nicely balanced, it wasn't too sweet at all.  I could taste the soy in the base a little, but as I love the flavor of soy, I do wish it were a little more pronounced.

Overall, well executed, clearly higher quality than what you'd get at Jamba Juice or elsewhere, but not really my thing.  Again, I was mostly getting this just because I had a sore throat and wanted to soothe it.
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